HOLMFIRTH HARRIERS’ top endurance athletes were in action in the Nike Senior Men’s 12-stage and Women’s six-stage National Road Relay Championships.
Held in Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, the Men’s event which first used this course in 1970 consists of 12 legs with six long legs of 5.38 miles alternating with six short legs of 2.9miles.
The ladies event which began in 2000 is over six stages of 2.9miles.
Over the years many of the greats of British distance running have run epic legs with former 5,000m World record holder, Dave Moorcroft, of Coventry Godiva Harriers, still holding the long stage record of 24 minutes 27 seconds set in 1982.
In the Men’s event 69 teams started and Holmfirth’s team was a mixture of youth and experience.
Richard Anderson ran a storming first leg bringing the team home in 35th place in a time of 27.59.
Mark Buckingham moved the team up 12 places on the second stage to 23rd.
He was involved in a battle throughout the leg with James Shore, the UK 1500m champion and recorded a time of 14.23.
Paul Smith faced some very talented athletes on stage three and eventually slipped back to 34th, but he still recorded a good time of 30.15.
Thomas Traviss-Pollard ran well on stage four, gaining two places with his 15.42 return.
On the next long stage Richard Smith moved the team up to 30th and his time of 29.03 saw a massive improvement on previous efforts on the course.
John Ewart, the old stalwart of the team, ran extremely well to hold on to 30th place as the team reached the halfway stage.